It Is Time to Review: Interrupted {when Jesus wrecks your comfrotable Christianity}

- INTERRUPTED: WHEN JESUS WRECKS YOUR COMFORTABLE CHRISTIANITY -

Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker; book review

You're here and you're ready to be a book worm with me. Great - you should just go buy it now.

Also this book only solidified my calling and my heart's loving to be a scandalous-lover-of-broken-humans.

Just as quickly as I went from a 4 year old to a married woman, July thundered into August silently and oh so loudly because there was literally a thunderstorm; I am completely unsure as to what has happened to my life and where it has gone. 3 weeks of backpacking/camping/camps back to back just made me a very happy camper {read: did me in} and somehow I was able to squeeze in time to read Interrupted. Probably because I couldn't stop thinking about it - I am still chewing on it.

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|interrupted | Jen Hatmaker

This book..where to begin?

"Transparent and imperfect, Jen will engage and inspire you to go beyond comfortable and answer for yourself the question she faced: is there more to faith than just the safe and sequestered, predictable and boring?" --from the back of the cover, emphasis mine--

- MY CONCISE SUMMARY -

Jen Hatmaker's big idea: Jesus said, "Feed my sheep." What if He meant it? Is there more to this comfortable and boring Christian walk?

The first 1/4 of this book focuses on the reality of this world's poverty. The least, the last, the forgotten. She brings in loads of scriptures and heart wrenching truths and in-your-face-facts. She talks about America [and the factual damage we do/resources we don't offer]...but then turns it back to us individually and asks: but do you care?

The second 1/4 of this book centers on choosing to be broken and poured out. It is about becoming bottom dwellers; not in a patronizing way, but truly residing at the bottom where Jesus is with His peeps. Bottom dwelling, like you know, the girls that carry the label "sluts," the stinky men that carry the label "homeless," and the single mom carrying the label, "horrible parent." WHY become a bottom dweller?

The third 1/4 of this book focuses on leaving the platform, making the jump, taking the leap into actually living this way. Will you jump? Will you change your posture towards the least?

The fourth 1/4 of this book is filled with tangible ideas and truths; how to live our way into a new kind of thinking. How to begin living this life, truly submerged in Jesus and being "good news" to our cities. It creates a vision that isn't daunting for us every day folks. Are you ready to become good news?

- MY REACTIONS, NOTE-WORTHIES, & SUCH -

 After devouring Interrupted, I sat and I stared at the wall.

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When we ignore the least, we ignore Him.

Jen's story of Jesus interrupting her comfortable Christianity is jam packed full of questions we should all be wrestling through, men and women alike. This is "a serious conversation for the church at large...until we are all compelled & contributing, we're settling for an anemic faith and a church that robs Christ followers of their vitality and repels the rest of the world." Let's talk about it - let's talk about reality of the least of these.

Here are a few statistics mentioned:

•Half the world lives on less than $2.50/day

•The wealthiest 1 billion ppl on earth average $70/day -- you and me are in the upper, upper, upper percentages of global population --> if you make $35,000/year, you're in the top 4% --> 50k yr, you're in the top 1%

•27 million trapped in slavery; more slaves exist today than ever before

•We spend more annually on trash bags than nearly half the world spends on all goods combined

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She mentions that as Americans, the top of the food chain, it may be impossible for us to truly identify with Christ. Our lives are much like Sodom's, "Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door." {Ezekiel 16:49, emphasis mine}.

This book challenges us to begin a new way of thinking, inviting us into a true freedom. The freedom that we are meant to live in  -  the freedom only found at the bottom where Jesus resides.

Jen cast this vision: There are roughly 2.1 billion people, about 1/3 of the planet, who identify themselves as Christian. Let's cut that number in half to be safe. Imagine if 1 billion believers, many of them with every necessary resource, obediently decided to love this broken world as they love themselves. If we chose to not count the man on the corner as a homeless man, but as a {hu}man. Then, indeed, we would become "good news to the poor." {Luke 4:18}. Jen makes it clear that alone we can affect a few, but together we can change this world.

Jen spends time navigating through communion and the words Jesus said, what He literally meant, at the Last Supper. She inspires us to be broken and poured out, and in so doing, someone else will be fed. Someone else will find life. And that is the Gospel. Her words probe: "Who was Jesus broken and poured out for?"

-pause book review- Who in your city would is Jesus broken and poured out for? Who are the last, the least, the forgotten, and the forsaken? Dare you make a list? Do it.

Loren and I made a list.

-resume- Jen talks about becoming a bottom-dweller. When we give up our spot on the ladder - climbing to the top, because that's what we do as Americans - and decide to descend to the bottom, we meet Jesus face to face. We get to step out of the chaos of ego and pride. We get to breathe without anxiety attacks. When we dwell at the bottom with Jesus and His peeps, we "release the compulsion to be right, respected, understood, winning. It's a relief." And that it is. Jesus took greatness's connotation away from power and possessions and bestowed it on the humility of a servant.

The heart in this book inspires and invites every believer to become a follower. It invites every Christian to not only believe that Jesus died for them, but to go out and feed His sheep. To become good news. To live life as He truly meant us for. He died to give flight to His Bride. We are invited to put down our word-wars and defenses, humble our posture, and become servants. To live as an adopted son or daughter of Jesus. There is no shaming; only invitations to a fuller life with less rules and measurements and unloving restrictions.

Jen Hatmker, INTERRUPTED

"Our only hope is to win people over with ridiculous love," a lifestyle that causes them to sit up and take notice.

You guys. This book is more than real good. There is so much meat in it. It is a game changer - if we who carry the name of Christ read the heart of this book and "lived our way into a new kind of thinking," {Richard Rohr} we will be good news to the world. When we begin to view evangelism as a process rather than a bullhorn {and I know that the Christians in my circle totally view it as a process}, when we recognize that discipleship occurs over years in community {hello radiant Bride}, when we see the least of these as human beings with journeys and stories...this world will change and we will become good news. Because of Christ. Only through Christ.

There is so much in this book. Every page is filled with juicy deliciousness for your soul. Every time I sat it down, my heart thirsted for it, because within its pages was the heart of the Father.

Towards the end, Jen capitalizes on my favorite thing: using our gifts to build up the church. Why is that my favorite? Because gifts are given to you by God. And if it is something given to you, then you have no real credit to take. And if it is a gift and a passion that has been instilled within you, it will only refresh you to use it. When we use our gifts and pursue our passions and live life the way God created us to, we are being the church. We become living missionaries in our cities, in love with God and our community. We cannot do this alone, but together we can change this city. We just need to each add in our spice of giftings. Because I want you to read the book, I am going to add in yet another tasty quote from Jen: "People are truly the church. They are its life and breath and strength. It is you. It is me. The Kingdom advances in our small neighborhoods and small acts of love and small moments of faithfulness and small feats of courage. It is not encapsulated in programs...but activated through the body of Christ daring to be faithful everywhere we've been planted." (page 176)

So friends. Do your thing. Run your race. See humans as humans, as value. Seek out the least and the lost and the forgotten. Love your neighbors - your literal next door neighbors. Use your gifts. And in so doing, you're a part of the living and breathing body of Christ and together we bring the Kingdom of Heaven to this earth.

To the hungry and thirsty Christians thinking there just has to be more: read this book and be inspired into a new way of living.

**To my Friends who are reading this and condemning being angry at and shouting in your heart at anyone who doesn't "love or welcome __(the least)__" - you are no better. I am no better. The moment we look down upon and condemn another human being, the moment we are "just as bad." That is the moment we are charged guilty. But the grace of God is for us all, thank you Jesus. The grace of God is offered to the legalists and to the scandalous.

- - -

You guys. I underlined so much. YOU NEED THIS BOOK. This book will challenge you to think beyond yourself and about the world at large. It's not a book that you read to feel good and then set on your shelf - it is a book that you read every year to have great conviction, smack you in the soul, and remind you why you exist as a Christian on this earth.

One way this book has invited Loren & I to change our life:

  • We lead the youth ministry within Corvallis Church; we want to be more proactive about serving out community and seeking out the lost and forgotten with the youth. We have been talking and dreaming about the different ways we can do this. Beginning this fall/winter we will be hosting monthly activity nights for the residents at Benton Plaza. We have served this place before and the residents love community! They are so hungry for relationship. Ideas: Bingo Night, Bunco Night, Potlucks, etc. I am stoked. DO you have any ideas to contribute?

I love our church family and am honored to be a part of it -- we invite, go to, and welcome in the smelly, the forgotten, the spit on, and the looked down upon. We embrace and we relate with all. The church community at Corvallis Church inspires me into betterness and it is beautiful and I will be forever grateful. I am all in love with the heart of my church family. We don't do anything revolutionary; we just see people as people and live with this hospitality of grace that only Jesus can offer and give to us.

Dont get overwhelmed. Don't go move to Canada, unless you're feeling the call. Take this as an invitation to live missionally right where you are.

Also- Jen mentioned toward the end that the young marrieds group threw birthday parties for kids who had a parent in jail...uh yes please. I am all about that and onto finding out how we can do that.

And because I just don't want to stop talking about how good this book is:

we do others a disservice by summarizing their lives on superficial or categorical observations. believers, this is why we have to do the hard work of missional living.

"This takes the one investment that comprises our hottest commodity: TIME. Sharing our lives with dear people to win them over to Jesus is the substance of Christianity, the delightful work we've been commissioned to."

Order your copy HERE.